SDC: Brun shows way

JULIEN Brun grabs lead in much more favorable conditions in the SDC Championship 2023. | ROSLAN RAHMAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Julien Brun leads the weather-disrupted SDC Championship 2023 by one shot after producing a second-round 67 before strong winds wiped out much of the afternoon’s play.

Frenchman Brun began the day two shots off the lead after posting an impressive opening round of 69 in the wind on Thursday afternoon.

But in much more favorable conditions at St. Francis Links on Friday morning, Brun — who started from the tenth tee — surged into contention with early birdies at the 12th, 14th and 18th.

The 30-year-old then made four birdies and two bogeys on the homeward nine to set the clubhouse target at eight under par before high winds caused play to be suspended at 13.52 local time.

No further play was possible on Friday, with the second round set to resume at 07.00 on Saturday.

Home favorite Albert Venter, Swede Jens Dantorp and Englishman Matthew Baldwin were Brun’s nearest challengers on seven under after they all finished their rounds on Friday.

Dantorp’s 63, which contained ten birdies and one bogey, was the lowest round of the week so far.

First-round leaders Kristian Krogh Johannessen and David Ravetto were on five under with many holes of their second rounds still to complete.

Morning starter Brun flew out of the blocks on day two, carding three birdies on his front nine to turn in 33 shots.

Having picked up his fourth birdie of the day on the second, Brun gave the shot straight back at the par-five third.

But he recovered with a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth to move into a two-shot lead.

A closing bogey at the ninth saw Brun’s advantage reduced to a single shot, but with none of his fellow morning starters able to catch him and many of the afternoon wave still in the early stages of their rounds when play was suspended, he was still the man to catch heading into the weekend.

Speaking about the contrasting conditions in his opening two rounds in South Africa, Brun said: “Very different. It’s the first time for me that I’ve seen the course without wind.”

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